Being a good actor is much more than having the face of a Greek god, an athletic body, and an amazing fashion sense (though having these can’t hurt!). What’s also important for an actor is their range, how they’re able to adapt to new roles and embody wildly different characters.
The folks over on Twitter have been busy praising their favorite actors who definitely “understood the assignment” and wowed their fans in a multitude of different roles. From Leonardo DiCaprio (hi, Leo, we love you!) to my personal favorite Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal, these stars are getting the adoration and attention they deserve. Fashion Life has collected some of the most spot-on tweets, so scroll down to see who Twitter loves best, upvote the tweets that you agree with, and let us know which actor has totally “understood the assignment” better than everyone else in your personal opinion.
I had a chat with celebrity and pop-culture expert Mike Sington, who has worked together with countless actors, about what makes people adore a star (hint: it might not be their acting skills!) and the relationship between experience and adaptability on-screen is. Have a peek down below for Fashion Life's interview with Mike.
Helena Bonham Carter
Hollywood's Ultimate Insider, Mike from LA, told Fashion Life that when it comes to being a beloved actor, a real icon of the silver screen, acting skills alone won't cut it. "Likeability is more important than acting skills. You become a beloved actor if you, as an audience member, wants to hang out with you. No matter how good an actor’s skills are, if they seem like a miserable person, they will never be beloved," the expert said. So it's not just their ususal repertoire of acting skills that stars have to hone; it's their talent with people that counts a whole lot (maybe even more), too.
Having worked with so many actors during the length and breadth of his career, Mike has gotten to know them very well. One thing that he's learned is that the ability to act well, in his opinion, is something you're born with. "I firmly believe acting is an innate talent. Actors can of course increase their range with more experience, but some of the finest actors can be completely new on the scene, and often have never even taken any classes," he said.
As for Mike's favorite actor, he couldn't pick just one. "I have two favorite actors of all time: Meryl Streep and Sidney Poitier. I find both their bodies of work breathtaking."
While some would argue that Keanu Reeves (my fave actor) plays pretty much just himself in every single movie, I’d say that he’s my top pick for somebody who 100% understood the assignment. I love his acting and I secretly hope that so do you, dear Pandas. What did you think of Keanu’s performance in the latest John Wick installment and the new SpongeBob SquarePants movie?
During an earlier interview, I spoke with Hollywood’s Ultimate Insider, Mike, about casting and what additional advice he’d give actors. Mike shared his opinion that while raw acting talent is important, so is the “ability to bring the character to life, fulfilling the vision of the director and writer.”
There’s also the indescribable ‘it factor,’ making the character jump off the screen, that casting directors are always on the lookout for. However, when directors look for whom to cast, they also have to take into account how each new addition will fit in with the entire crew.
“Also taken into consideration are experience and chemistry with other actors auditioning for the project. An actor needs to have an overall pleasant personality too, and seem like they would be easy to work with on the set,” Mike shared. “No matter how good they are, no one wants to hire a ‘difficult’ actor!"
When it comes to established names, getting a role in a movie is fairly easy. Experience counts for a lot in Hollywood. However, newbies have it pretty tough and often don’t have the luxury of choice: they stick with what they’re given.
"Inexperienced actors have very little say or flexibility in negotiating a different role than the one they are being considered for. There are so many actors being considered for any one particular role, if an actor wants to work, it’s best if they are new and don’t have the clout, to just go with what they’re offered gratefully,” Mike said.
The celebrity expert said that if a fresh new actor wants to try a different role than the one they’re offered, they should start off by voicing their concerns to their agent. That way, they’ll be represented while also avoiding any slip-ups when talking directly with the casting director.
"If an inexperienced actor feels strongly they’d be more suitable for another role, that’s a conversation to have with your agent, who can then possibly approach the casting director depending upon their relationship."
However, no matter how popular you might be, an actor is never rid of that horrible feeling of being rejected… at least sometimes. “An actor has to constantly face rejection, but to be successful, you just have to realize that’s part of the process," Mike told Fashion Life, suggesting that actors “shrug it off” and then move on to the next audition.
"I always tell actors, much of the audition process is out of your control, and you may never even know why you didn’t get the part. Maybe the casting director passed because you remind them of their cousin they can’t stand. Or the director stepped in and said ‘no’ because they want to work with someone they’re familiar with. It may have absolutely nothing to do with the actor’s talent at all."